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In an entirely unReformed tactic, I dare you, in fact I double-dare you, to be the first deacon to post a story on this site.   What do you have to lose?  

Ok, If you type like my hamster, it might take you an hour to tell your story.  Then your tiny little paws will be sore, but you'll feel SO good in your little hamster heart!  You'll have lost an hour, but found your story.

What deacon-story could you tell about the experiences of deacons in your church?  Something funny?   A success to share?   A disappointment?  A learning?

And on a related topic - When is a deacon like a doodle bug?  

When rolled up into a tight inaccessible ball?   When bringing delight to a child?   When using all its deaconal feet to move to service?   When it grows up to be a lion?

I will personally send a collectible from another hemisphere to the person with the best story in coming weeks.   (not a stuffed hamster).


At the Northern Alberta Diaconal Conference, Deacons are asked to share stories. Here they are!

~At Centrepointe, they now have 2 deacons, and hope to get a couple more soon. They have started to help people with moving, house reno’s, etc. They now make those services available for anyone in the community, including those who can pay, to help raise funds.
~Some members of The River have gone to meet with people in Zambia to get to know them & love them. They have seen huge results and changes in people who have been there, and the Zambians are getting comfortable now to ask for help with their projects. The River’s annual Serve fundraiser enables them to respond to local needs quickly, and to help people with unique, expensive needs. For example they were able to help someone with $10,000 in medical expenses.
~Woodynook is looking forward to celebrating its 75th anniversary in November, and they are in building mode. They are almost at the $1.5 million needed to start, so preliminary work has begun. Woodynook is evaluating their evening service, and ask for prayers for guidance in this matter. They have two new refugees coming as their current refugee family is asking them to support two additional family members. Woodynook is active in Neighbourlink in their community. There are three greenhouse operations which employ 15 Thai people. Deacons are very excited that they have found a person who can speak Thai, and are now offering Alpha in their language so that these Thai people can come to know Jesus.
~Joe asked for support for Diaconal Ministries Canada, as the support via denominational ministry shares doesn’t always come in. Joe mentioned that at the DMC meetings he has attended he has been so impressed with the commitment of the staff.
~Wolf Creek is searching for a pastor. Their young people went to Vancouver on an inner-city mission trip, and Wolf Creek is also very involved with Neighbourlink.
At Maranatha, they have an election for deacons coming up soon. The Karen refugees, with whom Maranatha has been involved for a long time now, are planning to rent a Baptist church, as they have outgrown the space in Maranatha. However, they still plan to worship at Maranatha in the mornings.
~Ottewell is involved in a visioning process whereby they have adopted core values leading to core practices, generating commitment from the congregation. They are planning an outdoor community worship service on June 13, starting with a pancake breakfast, and ending with a community information fair. As part of their year-round giving schedule, they are focusing on The Pregnancy Care Centre for May and June, involving the youth in the Walk for Life, and collecting baby items, as well as offerings. In July and August the focus will be Habitat for Humanity, with offerings as well as serving up several lunches to volunteers.
~Bethel-Lacombe is doing intentional giving over 5 Sundays. They started a big expansion to the church kitchen. Circle of friends has been very positive for them. The have been busy with the overture to Classis regarding seating deacons at Classis. They have not been made aware of many financial or other needs recently.
~At St. Albert, they are losing three deacons. Please pray that they get replacements. They had a SERVE team go to Vancouver, and will be starting a community garden. They also have a refugee sponsorship in progress. A year ago, the church was asked by Community Services to help with people who fall between the cracks. They, along with 5 other churches, joined “The Bridge” and are a centre through which community requests are funneled. They work out of the Food Bank. Bert mentioned that it would be really beneficial for all churches to be involved in this type of arrangement.
~At Covenant, they now have a second pastor, Ken Vis, who focuses on youth and education. They had a SERVE team go to El Paso, and a HANDS team going somewhere next year. Their programs are winding down, but find Vacation Bible School to be a good outreach tool. They are looking forward to church camp and have a community garden. They will be starting Compass 21 in the fall and are working on developing their Safe Church policy.. They find they have lots of families who need help, but still found time to have a senior’s supper.
~Bethel-Edmonton has a small diaconate. Their refugee family of 8 is doing well and is almost at the end of its year of support. There is some hesitancy in applying for jobs. If anyone has any leads on entry level jobs or house, please contact Linda Hofstede. Bethel will continue to support them until they can get on their feet. One of their refugees was to support a family member and has asked the church for help. Interesting calls for help come into the church, and the deacons are thankful for helpful connections. They are delighted that some of the folks they helped with Tax Time are now coming to church, and relationships are developing.
~First-Red Deer has an outreach program, and offered babysitting services at Christmas and help with spring clean up. They have lots of young people, and have Vacation Bible School (VBS) coming up, and are specializing on soccer after VBS.
- At Sonrise, they were sad to see their pastor Harry Zantingh leave, and are now searching for a new pastor. In the interim they are being served by Maurice Boonstra who has filled in for many pastoral vacancies. They are grateful for his ministry. Their programs are running well, and they are looking forward to a 25th anniversary.
~Hope had a neat evening last month when their missionaries to China, the Ten Harmsels, were in town. They sold tickets and raised an additional $400 by auctioning off great desserts!
~New Life Fellowship has a couple of girls who were in Haiti helping at an orphanage before the earthquake hit. They were asked to gather up clothes and other items which they did. Their youth did a Mexico trip and also had a bottle drive to raise funds for YC, but were gracious to give some of their bottles to a senior’s bottle collection. A disabled person who has been coming to church moved to a group home, and has invited his fellow residents and their care workers to come to church!
~First-Edmonton is still looking for a senior pastor. They hope to celebrate their 100th anniversary this fall. They had church campout at the end of May. The deacons are helping a family adopt two kids from Africa. The church has purchased the home next door and is soliciting ministry ideas for the property.
~At Ebenezer, plans are underway for a new church building. The stewardship team is endorsing Stewardship Initiatives, and had a “stewardship circle of chairs” meeting at Ottewell on May 20th with a hope to have more of the same in the future. Ebenezer is hosting a SERVE project.
~At Trinity, they now have a senior pastor and a pastor for the seniors in place, and are making plans for youth ministry. They are fundraising for the church building renovations. They have been asked to aid with refugees. Their pastor asked an elder and deacon to come to a profession of faith class to talk about being a church member. Several members are closely involved with the Mosaic Center outreach.
~In Neerlandia, they do “cross training” - their time of youth and adult education - at 10:00 on Sundays with worship service after that. They are in the process of setting up administrative and pastoral elders. They have a refugee family from Ethiopia. They support anyone who needs counseling.
~Terrence asked for prayerful thought to let your name stand for NADC executive, or if you know anyone with a diaconal heart who might stand, please let Henry or an Executive member know.
~Fellowship has a pastoral committee that provides the leadership and mercy ministry. Since they don’t have a full time pastor or a church building, those resources can be applied elsewhere. They try to support members in what they get involved with, for example refugee involvement. They get lots of participation from lay persons, and have been having 25-30 TKUC students attending, whom they are challenged to integrate. They have “Mobile Feet Sundays” with various groups doing service projects. They received a Worship Renewal grant and published the book Words for Worship, with liturgies written by some of their members. They have several families who have chronic financial issues.

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